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Default Free NOAA ENC Charts vs. Free Maptech Charts

Thanks to Peter Bennett ( I
have found a much better solution that is totally free and works like a

It is a program called "SeaClear II" which can be downloaded from

"SeaClear is a PC based chart plotter for Windows 2000/XP/NT/95/98/ME. With
a GPS connected it displays the current position, speed, heading and other
data on the screen. The chart is repositioned and new charts are loaded
automatically as needed. Tracks may be saved to file for later reviewing and
log book entries can be manually and automatically entered. Unlimited number
of routes and waypoints can be created and used to assist the navigation.
The screen area for charts is maximized with most functions accessed with
the right mouse button. Zooming is provided with support for IntelliMouse
wheel. SeaClear is created for nautical navigation but can probably be used
for other navigation needs."

It comes with a program called "MapCal 2" which converts the free Maptech
maps (.KAP file format) for use with SeaClear2.

I installed SeaClear2 on my laptop and use it to plan routes...then take it
to the boat and hook it up with a small handheld Garmin76 GPS....and presto
.....I now have a chartreader onboard with the latest electronic charts as a
backup for my paper charts and regular RayMarine's "C-Map"
GPS/Chartreader... I can even transfer the planned routes to the handheld
GPS for a backup if all the fancy electronic toys go haywire :-)

And I no longer consider purchasing C-Map's proprietary PC reader or for
that matter their expensive annual cartridges...

Give "SeaClear2" a try.... I think you will like it!


"Matt O'Toole" wrote in message
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 00:07:43 -0500, Wayne.B wrote:

On Fri, 16 Dec 2005 20:59:01 -0800, "cvj" wrote:

Nice free X-mas present from NOAA/Maptech!!!

I have been using Maptech Offshore Navigator for years and regard it as
a good product, don't know how it compares with the freebie.

Me too. It has its quirks that drive me nuts, and I don't think it's the
greatest piece of software as software goes, but it's probably the least
worst of the bunch. At $200 or whatever it's pretty cheap, considering
the use one gets out of it. The problem is, it doesn't use the free
charts, only the Maptech ones.

I think Maptech has a racket going with the BSB charts. And their
software could be a heck of a lot better. I hope other developers will
jump in and create better stuff for the ENC charts.

Matt O.